The Politics and IR Honors program provides students with an unparalleled opportunity to work with faculty in conducting original research on the topic of their choice while writing a thesis over the course of their senior year.
The deadline for applying to the Honors program is March 1 in spring of junior year. Admission requirements are as follows:
- A GPA of at least 3.65, both overall and in Politics courses.
- Successful completion of at least four courses in Politics at time of application to the program.
- Completion of or enrollment in Quantitative Methods for Political Science (POL-UA 800) or Introduction to Research Methods for Politics (POL-UA 850) at time of application to the program.
- Completion of or enrollment in Introduction to Macroeconomics (ECON-UA 1) or Introduction to Microeconomics (ECON-UA 2) at time of application to the program.
- Submission of Thesis Proposal:
- The Politics and IR Honors major requires the completion of a thesis conducted over the course of the entire academic year consisting of supervised independent research in an area of particular interest to the student. Using two to three double-spaced pages, provide a proposal for the thesis you would like to write as a Politics Honors student.
- In separate sections numbered (1) through (5), the proposal should:
- Pose a political science-related question you intend to answer in the thesis
- Explain why this question is interesting and important
- Provide some brief background on what is currently known about this topic;
- Describe how you plan to answer your research question, including references to specific datasets and other sources.
- Finally, discuss any courses you have taken or plan to take (in Politics or other departments) that will provide you with background or experience in your proposed topic.
- While the proposal does not commit you to writing a thesis on the topic proposed, applicants are encouraged to think seriously about it and undertake some preliminary review of the literature on the topic of their choice. Applicants will be selected for the Honors program in part on the basis of the strength of the thesis proposal.
Students admitted to the program must fulfill the following requirements to earn Honors:
- Completion of the Senior Honors Seminar I (POL-UA 950) in the fall of the senior year.
- Completion of the Senior Honors Seminar II (POL-UA 951) in the spring semester of the senior year, during which students finish their research and write their Honors thesis. The instructor teaching the Senior Honors seminar will, under ordinary circumstances, be the first reader of the theses for students registered in the class. Occasionally, another faculty member may serve as first reader and the instructor of the seminar will serve as second reader.
- Participation in the Politics Honors Research Conference, held in April of the senior year. At the Research Conference each thesis will be read and discussed by a second faculty member, who will serve as the second reader for the thesis.
- Approval of the Honors thesis by both the instructor teaching Senior Honors II and the second reader of the thesis. Theses will be approved for Honors if they merit a grade of at least A-, as determined by the first and second readers.
- Maintenance of a GPA of at least 3.65 both overall and in Politics courses during the senior year.
- Completion of all other requirements for the Politics major.
Students successfully completing the Honors Program will receive a degree with Honors or High Honors, as determined by the Department’s Honors Committee, taking into consideration both the quality of the thesis and the student’s record in the Honors Program.